Rejected by 26 publishers, The 4-Hour Work Week almost didn’t become the No. 1 New York Times Bestseller. Tim Ferriss penned “The 4-Hour Work Week” for those who are sick of waiting for retirement to start living, and who want to start living fully and fully enjoying life right now.
In his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss promises that his readers can reap the benefits of their labors immediately rather than waiting for retirement. The fact that Ferriss has used his methods to become (among other things) is a tribute to his persistence and ingenuity.
- Speaking as a Princeton University visitor
- American tango’s first Guinness World Record holder
- A professional and Olympic sports expert who has advised more than 30 athletes who have set new world records
- A Chinese kickboxing champion at the national level
- MTV Taiwan’s most popular breakdancer
Table of contents
What is the 4-hour work week about?
The authors of The 4-Hour Work Week advocate for a work-life balance that allows for more leisure time and flexibility. In Ferriss’s view, they are hallmarks of the “New Rich.” The New Rich have given up on the deferred-life plan in favor of creating luxurious lifestyles right now, and Ferriss claims that anyone can do the same.
According to Ferriss, the goal of most individuals is not to amass a million dollars but rather to enjoy the luxuries that most of us assume are out of reach for everyone but the wealthy. So, how can one live like a billionaire when they don’t have a million dollars in the bank? Ferriss devoted five years to figuring out the answer to this issue and has now revealed the secret of unbundling work from pay. Therefore, the focus of “The 4-Hour Work Week” is not on finding a better job or reducing expenses; rather, it is on automating your income and freeing up as much time as possible.
How many hours are you really working? Consequences of the 4-hour work week
According to OECD statistics, in 2020 Germany had the lowest average annual working hours of any major industrialized country, at 1,332. (25.6 per week). The average American worker puts in 1,767 hours per year (34 hours per week), while the average Canadian worker puts in 1,664 hours (32 per week). The United Kingdom, Spain, and Japan are all trying out four-day workweeks, and all three have significantly shorter workweeks than the traditional five.
Based on these statistics, it appears that most adults in the United States now have nearly the equivalent of a four-day workweek and that workers in some other nations have even more time on their hands.
A closer inspection of the American data, however, reveals that workers with only a high school diploma or less drag the national average down. People aged 16–19 worked an average of 25 hours per week in 2021, while those aged 20–24 worked an average of 34.8 hours per week. Persons aged 25 and up averaged 39.6 hours of labor each week.
Benefits of a 4-day workweek
The fundamental goal of a four-day workweek is to improve workers’ quality of life. By working fewer hours overall and having three full days off, people have more time for personal priorities like these:
- Spending quality time with family, friends, and pets
- Doctor appointments
- Personal development
Challenges of a 4-day workweek
Not all companies guarantee their workers the same salary and benefits if they switch to a 4-day workweek. According to reports, companies like Stanley Black & Decker and the Los Angeles Times have employed a four-day week to save money by reducing labor expenses by 20% for three months.
It’s also important to note that the results of short-term experiments showing that a four-day workweek is effective may differ from those of longer-term experiments.
With its launch in 2013, online coding school Treehouse adopted a four-day workweek. Its current CEO, Ryan Carson, had previously implemented this technique in 2006. Publicly, he was singing the praises of the compacted week as recently as 2015, citing increased productivity and a more well-rounded existence as two of its advantages.
However, Carson had to let employees go in 2016 after instituting a 40-hour workweek at Treehouse. According to him, the 32-hour work week ruined his work ethic, which was bad for the company’s success.
He claimed to work 65 hours per week in 2018, beginning at 4:30 a.m. and finishing at 6 p.m. He took breaks in the morning for exercise, breakfast, and time with his wife, but he claimed he took none after 8:30 a.m.
It’s possible that a four-day work week with 10-hour days may conflict with wage standards or be excessively taxing for workers, resulting in a loss of production and no savings for the company. In the 1990s, several companies realized this and switched to a 9/80 schedule, where employees work nine hours Monday through Thursday and eight hours every other Friday in exchange for having every other Friday off.
For many reasons, the concept of a four-day workweek is not appealing to everyone. They might, for instance, take pleasure in interacting with coworkers or find their work so interesting that they don’t want to spend less time on it. There’s also the possibility that a compacted week could cause undue stress for some employees by making them feel like they’re always under the gun to get more done before their vacation ends.
A 4-Day Workweek Success Story
A four-day workweek was tried out in 2017 by Wildbit, a tiny software business established in Philadelphia in 2000, and it became standard practice.
The company’s success with this policy is due to its emphasis on outcomes rather than volume and on focused, meaningful work rather than hours logged.
The four-day workweek at Wildbit is a part of the company’s people-first philosophy, which contends that work supports life and that it is improper to provide nice benefits while putting the interests of the company ahead of those of its employees.
The business prioritizes remote work and offers location-neutral compensation.